Part 2 of the Coral Lab Project in Indonesia

Written by Maëlle Picout

Four ocean-enthusiasts students of TU Delft are on a journey to save the reefs.

If you have read our last blog you probably already know that Alexandru Bobe, Joppe Roorda, Tadé Whenu and Xavier Hubbelmeijer, four students part of the minor of Delft Centre for Entrepreneurship at the TU Delft Faculty of Technology Policy and Management, are currently in Lombok building the ‘First Coral Lab in Central Indonesia’ in order to restore 500m² of coral reef before August 2022.



Since our last article on this experience, a lot of things have changed and developed. Firstly, the students were able to get their PDA after a few days of learning diving skills in a pool and diving successfully in open water. This certificate will enable the students to help during the underwater coral reef restoration part of the project (see pictures below). It will also allow them to continue with their exploration and conservation work into the future! 

In the past few days, the students met with the team of local builders who agreed to conduct the operation of building the lab! The construction contract was successfully signed and both parties agreed that the lab will be placed at Kenican Bay in North Lombok - see info on the site here. According to the students who learnt from the locals, this site is incredible for underwater photographs as the marine biodiversity there is abundant and just wonderful.


In addition to the signing of the construction contract, students have participated one again in a beach cleanup last Sunday! Beaches are an important element of people's lives. They can contribute to climate change mitigation in addition to a variety of recreational activities. Beaches protect inhabitants who live near the coast by acting as a buffer against high winds and waves caused by powerful storms, and they also help to generate economic activity in the area. As some people rely on the beach as a fish fry nursery, as well as nesting areas for tortoises and seabirds, cleaning those beaches from the plastic pollution helps protect the habitat of the marine ecosystem.

Joppe (top) and Tadé (bottom) attaching the first name tags


In the past few weeks, Alexandru, Joppe, Tadé and Xavier have organised a crowdfunding campaign to fund the equipment to initate their project. The equipment they needed for the project consists of reef tanks in which coral reefs will be nurtured as well as other equipment such as coral cutting tools and a presentation microscope. While their essential goal was to gather 5000 euros, the students managed to achieve a stunning 123% of their end goal! This also broke the record for crowdfunding through the TU Delft platform as part of the minor at Delft Center for Entrepreneurshup. All the money above the 5000 euros goal will be invested in the restoration process. This is all thanks to the 167 donors!

Most importantly, we would like to thank our sponsoring companies and organizations, who can officially say that they are contributing to a great global cause, starting with a few students on the small island of Lombok. Some notable mentions are:

This project would not have been possible without their immense support and contribution. In addition to these incredible news, the students have brought to our intention that the ‘reef support t-shirts’ they have created will soon be ready for pick-up/delivery. Indeed, the design is fully done and the team will make sure to notify everyone once the t-shirts have been produced. Even though the campaign is over, you are still able to contribute and receive a T-shirt from us - just reach out to us.


The students have undertaken the project to start posting videos on their own Youtube Channel. There, you will be able to watch (and not just read) about the coral lab, because seeing is believing! Once the initial films are released, make sure you subscribe and switch on notifications to keep up with the development in the lab and the restoration process.


If like us you are fond of corals and want to save these beautiful creatures already, which are so important to our ecosystem, Indonesia Biru Foundation gives you the opportunity to adopt your own coral spider. And what is even cooler is that they will tag your name personally on it and give you a monthly report of its coral growth!

Click on the link below to see how you can join into the regeneration of our reefs.

Written by Maëlle Picout - 16/12/2021

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